Click here to see this online
The Update from Education at Illinois

The Update is a student newsletter for undergraduate
majors and minors in the College of Education at Illinois.

Student Spotlight
 (L to R) Melanie Demma, Rory Johnson, and Lindsey Pingsterhaus

As promised in our last issue, we now feature the I-STARS - those students who faithfully eat meals with incoming freshmen, answer questions, and accompany them to various campus locations (or stay with the parents of the new students), including the computer lab where they register for their first semester on campus. Lindsey, Melanie, and Rory have been spending their summer assisting with new student registration and leading campus tours. Their presence has been quite helpful in the College of Education's new student programs, which held its final session this week, as all three are education majors themselves. 

Melanie Demma
Melanie will be starting her senior year this fall as part of the last class of Elementary Education graduates eligible for licensure in K-8. Melanie hails from a family teaching legacy - her paternal grandmother and her grandmother's siblings were all teachers. Melanie encourages all undergraduates to copy "projects and test dates into a Google calendar and update it frequently, so you never miss an assignment." It seems Melanie knows what she's talking about: She will have earned endorsements on her license in every subject area: Math, General Science, Social Science and English Language Arts. 

Rory Johnson
Rory has had many life experiences in her 21 years. She will be a junior, among the first to declare the Middle Grades Educaton major, our brand new program leading to specialized licensure in Grades 5-8. She'll be working toward endorsements in math and Spanish. Rory attended Montessori school through eighth grade, then attended a high school in Chicago Public Schools. She credits these vastly different experiences for helping her to "investigate education as a career." Rory encourages undergraduates to surround themselves with people from different backgrounds to prepare them to work with diverse groups of students. She notes, "Your beliefs and perceptions will get challenged during your four years here: let them. It's okay to be confused and unsure about the world around you, and it is important to explore these college."

Lindsey Pingsterhaus
Lindsey, a junior ECE major, is spending her first summer away from her parents and two dogs. While she has known she wants to teach for years, and has proof on a piece of paper from first grade, Lindsey would drop everything to play piano for the Disney movie soundtracks. No worries there - that's a lot of pressure to perform, and she'd "never move to Florida because of the threat of hurricanes"! Lindsey's big advice to younger students is to become involved in schools early and often - Don't wait until placements and student teaching to "gain classroom experiences."

Class of 2019 

Welcome Celebration - Mark Your Calendars
Friday, August 19, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
All new and returning students are invited to the Welcome Celebration in August as we catch up with classmates, faculty, and staff, and welcome the incoming class of freshmen and transfer students.

Career and Professional Development
 Space Jam 10

Volunteers Needed for Scout Merit Badge Workshops
Saturday, August 6, Rantoul Airport
Space Jamboree is the Midwest's largest annual technology oriented gathering of all Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts hosted by Crew 272 of Fountain County, IN, and Troop 17 of Champaign, IL. Roughly 1000 scouts from 27 states will attend the Space Jam 10, where volunteers teach 44 merit badges. Volunteers (two person teams or individuals) are needed to teach two or three hour prepackaged programs in Communication, Energy, Forestry and Chess. Volunteers need not be experts in the subject - often scouts teach each other in volunteer-led discussions. Scout leaders will train volunteers and provide materials and support. Contact Denny Anderson at 217-840-7424 to apply. LEARN MORE>>


Special Education Job Opportunity
Onarga Academy in Onarga, IL, prides itself in offering boys "a homelike environment where they can safely address their behavioral and emotional problems." They are in need of a special education teacher who "will provide educational instruction through a variety of accepted teaching techniques while employing behavior management strategies that will ensure the effective and efficient implementation of assigned individual students’ IEPs." For more information, contact Sheri Ritchie at, call 815-268-7435, or apply online.

Happenings and Deadlines

Engaging Educators
Undergraduate students in the course "Community Engagement" (EPS 199) created Engaging Educators, a website which provides an introduction to the volunteering placements that are available to future students of the course "Identity and Difference in Education" (EDUC 201). On the site, visitors can read student testimonies, get information about various placement sites and organizations, receive news updates about the education world, and learn how to get involved. VIEW THE SITE>>


To submit information for a story, or to make inquiries or provide feedback, please email
the Student Academic Affairs Office at